Stardock is making a sequel to Elemental: War of Magic because the first one wasn’t up to snuff and garnered harsh criticism – the exact opposite of the usual reason to make a sequel.
CEO Brad Wardell told Gamasutra that Stardock has a duty to make up for the disappointing War of Magic.
“The reason is that I feel there’s a principle involved. Stardock makes good games,” he said.
“I know people don’t like Metacritic, but our averaged Metacritic score is one of the highest in the industry, and we put out what was arguably a stinker, and so we have a duty to our fans to make good on that.”
The executive acknowledged that his stance is an unusual one.
“From a business perspective, what we’re doing is really dumb,” he added. “For starters, the Elemental name is tarnished because War of Magic was a mediocre game. So why make an excellent game that has that baggage?”
But Wardell believes Stardock has to “deliver” an excellent experience for “those people who trusted” the company.
“We owe our audience, we owe them the assurance that if they give us their hard-earned money, then we owe them a really good product. We’ve all worked hard for our great reputation, and this is our chance to make good on that,” he said.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress will be given away for free to all those who bought the game during its first few months on sale, before multiple patches brought it into better shape; get more information on the scheme here. It’s due for release on PC some time this year.